Prime Minister and Chancellor discuss UK future

Today I joined business leaders in a meeting with the Prime Minister and Chancellor to discuss the impact of the 2018 budget and how to work with business for the country’s future.

The Prime Minister made a number of interesting comments that I share:

She told us that there will be a focus on boosting broadband to unlock business potential, and work on increasing the percentage of national GDP spent on research and development. 

The Government will be taking further action to increase apprenticeships but cutting the cost for smaller businesses employing them.

A central theme of the plans ahead are to be asking businesses to act responsibly and to consider their social impact.  Part of this drive is she said evidenced by the new technology company tax to help ensure a society of fairness.

To support trade and connection with key markets she confirmed E passport gate access at UK airports for citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan.

On Brexit she was candid and gave an apology for the uncertainty.  However, she assured us that she is looking for the right deal and she offered this outline for what it may look like:  A free trade agreement with a deal on services is the UK offer and desire.  Importantly the services element is to be protected with anti-discrimination provisions.

She told us to expect a deal soon, and it will be accompanied by a political declaration.

On Northern Ireland she made it clear she will not accept two customs territories for the UK, and she fully expects the new relationship with the EU to commence on January 1st 2021.

She ended on a positive note, that opportunity is in our future by being a global hub outside EU, with freedom to forge new trade arrangements.